Many of our students at Quorn Hall School really enjoy playing with their pets and find it an effective way of calming and regulating. We have had our goats on site for some time now. The students enjoy petting them and helping to keep their area clean, ensuring they always have food and water.
Then, in May 2021, we collected Basil Bones (pictured below) and joined forces with The Dog Mentor and set about successfully integrating Basil into our school.
The Dog Mentor continues to work closely with us, they have great experience of working with schools to help get this right, particularly where learners might have a fear of dogs or allergies. The great news with allergies is that our school pup is a hypoallergenic cockapoo so this can mean that his hair may not trigger allergies. However, we will ensure that people with allergies have the choice as to whether they spend time with him. Some people who normally have allergies have been able to enjoy doggy cuddles without being affected by their fur.
"He has already worked wonders with some of the pupils including helping them access learning, undertake reading assessments and manage their emotions if they are a bit unsettled."
- Antonia Jackson, Headteacher
Our learners can enjoy sessions with Basil. This could be by taking him for a walk with a member of staff, reading to them or just having some cuddle time. Basil can help support everyday anxieties, emotions and transitions. He has also been a big help to ease those pre exam nerves. Many of our learners really benefit from this calming intervention, he has even been known to help encourage those who are reluctant to exercise too.
Any students who may be nervous about dogs will be informed of his whereabouts and, over time, we hope to encourage them to start to build a relationship with him. Students will never be forced to spend time with our dog or our goats, but we hope we could work with them to alleviate any anxieties they may have.